I accidentally kidnapped a child the other day. Not in the way you think. I didn’t accidentally leave a bag of candy on my front seat and get in the car to find a child hiding in the back eating it. What actually happened was I was babysitting for a friend and her oldest daughter had a friend over who told me she was getting beaten by her custodial aunt. Not just spanked, but her head slammed into the wall and kicked and punched. I’m not usually one to get into other people’s business unless that business may include a dead child in the future and in this case I felt like it might. I sent her home that evening. The next morning the little girl shows back up at the house I’m babysitting at. She says her aunt kicked her out of the house and told her not to come back because she threatened to call the police after her head was slammed in the wall. I don’t know this child. I don’t know if she’s telling the truth or if she’s lying and, quite frankly, I don’t care because I kind of feel like if a kid feels like she can trust a stranger to help her and that stranger is me, then I will do what I can. My friend gets home, she doesn’t want the drama of any of the situation. I try to take the little girl home and she says she’s locked out and pretty much says if she goes home her aunt will kill her. So I ask her where her dad lives and it turns out he lives near me. I decide that I’ll just take her to her dad’s and tell him what’s been going on. After all, it is his sister doing the whooping up on his kid. We get to her dad’s house and lo and behold, he’s not there. Apparently, he’ at work and she doesn’t have his phone number. She only has his snapchat handle. I have snapchat. I don’t really use it, but for this, I did. So I send him a snapchat giving him my name and number with a message that says, “hey, I have your daughter, she was scared to go back to her aunts. Please call me.” I see where the message was delivered. And then time just tick tocks on. So after about 3 hours, I’m thinking, “I think I just kidnapped this child.” I guess it’s not really kidnapping though since I didn’t take her against her will and my intentions were pure. Either way, I did not want to get in trouble or go to jail because I had her with me. I eventually called DCS and reported what she told me. Crazy thing is, she had told her boyfriend, who told his mother, and the mother didn’t do anything. What happened to see something, say something? The best thing that could happen would be that DCS will find out that nothing is wrong. Not saying something, the worst thing that could happen is that a child ends up dead and you didn’t say anything. I mean, if it was my kid, yeah, I’d be annoyed because I know I don’t hit him and I know nobody else does, but I would be relieved that someone was looking out for his best interest. Not real sure her family felt the same way since they claimed she had run away and was missing since 8am, but hadn’t called to report her missing. I know they didn’t because after I called DCS, I took her to the police station. I rang the buzzer because the door was locked and told them, “I think I accidentally kidnapped this child, can we come in?” I wonder if I am the first person to wander into a police department and utter those words? I’d like to think I’m not. Anyway, I told them the story and as it turns out I was not a kidnapper and she was not a runaway, because even though she had been gone for 12 hours, nobody had called to report her missing. I’m just not sure what’s wrong with people, really. Who lets their 15 year old disappear without calling or texting or facebooking or something to check on her? And she just kept saying, “they don’t care about me, that’s why they didn’t call the police.” And I felt so bad for her. I just wanted to keep her and love her like an abandoned puppy. The police ended up coming to get her, the sheriff’s department actually, because she stayed out in the county and I was in the city. She sent me a message saying her dad came to get her, but if I heard the message correctly, he took her back out to her aunt’s house. So maybe all my good deeds were for nothing, but at least she knows there is one adult in this world who believes her when she says something bad happens and showed her that she had someone on her side even if it was just for a day. I think all kids should know there’s one person out there who will be there for them… sadly, her person was a stranger.